Thursday, November 11, 2010

The statue of Sir Edmund Hillary permanently g...Image via Wikipedia  Sir Ed's statue before Mt Cook, NZ

 A High Court judge has granted an injunction preventing Edmund Hillary's watches from being sold at auction in Switzerland.

It comes as June, Lady Hillary, has been asked by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage to return one of her late husband wristwatches to New Zealand after she entered it for sale at a Swiss auction house - because of its historical importance
The injunction instructs Sir Edmund Hillary's widow Lady June Hillary to tell the Swiss auction house, where the watches were to be sold, to withdraw them from sale
The auction was due to take place at 6am this Monday, New Zealand time
The injunction was lodged by lawyers for Sir Edmund's son Peter and daughter Sarah, who claim they own the watches
The watches include an Oyster Perpetual, engraved with "Sir E. Hillary", which Sir Edmund was presented with in 1953, after he climbed Mt Everest
He wore it on his first Antarctic expedition from 1955-1958
The ministry said this evening that the Oyster Perpetual has legal protection under the Protected Objects Act, and wrote to Lady Hillary's lawyers this afternoon informing her of that and asking her to return it, a spokeswoman said
The ministry was waiting for a response from her lawyers before decided its next course of action.
Yesterday, the ministry said if the watches were found to have legal protection under the Act, the New Zealand and Swiss governments may get involved
The wristwatch was expected to fetch more than US$20,000 because of its historical significance.
"I believe it has been stopped for the time being and we are hopeful we can preserve these legacy items," Peter Hillary said. "They, along with a lot of other items, are of great significance to this family and I would suggest in some respects to New Zealand, in terms of being important items from the Ed Hillary collection," he said
By law protected object cannot be exported without ministry permission.
The Hillarys said Lady June put the watches up for sale without talking to them, and the watches were owned by the family, not Lady June, under the terms of his father's will.
Peter Hillary said it was "very sad" he and his sister had had to take court action to stop his stepmother from going ahead with the sale, but it was the straw which had broken the camel's back.
"There have been a number of very significant items from the Ed Hillary collection that do belong to Sarah and I, that have been disposed of inappropriately."
"I believe that it has been stopped for the time being and we are hopeful we can preserve these legacy items. They, along with a lot of other items, are of great significance to this family and I would suggest in some respects to New Zealand, in terms of being important items from the Ed Hillary collection."
Neither Lady Hillary nor her lawyer were available for comment.
Sir Ed died in 2008
New Zealand courts have no jurisdiction in Switzerland but could make orders which applied to people in New Zealand, even if the event was happening overseas.
KR says: We sincerely hope this matter can be resolved before  the animosity permanently destroys the relationship between Sir Ed's children and their stepmother.
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Bill EnglishImage via Wikipedia MOVING TO AUSSIE:

Australia ahoy: why are we crossing the ditch?

It sounds patronising, but sometimes I feel sorry for New Zealand. We're a curious anomaly. One day the country is rated as one of the best places in the world to live, most peaceful, best quality of life, best cities to visit, best coastline, best leisure sports. For such a small population, we do incredibly well at certain things and appear, from the outside, to be at one with the environment. Yet, at the same time, there's high teen suicide and pregnancy rates, high alcohol consumption, high rates of bullying, domestic violence and child abuse.

If New Zealand is such a fabulous place to live, why are we leaving?

Concern over the number of New Zealanders moving overseas — at stages referred to as the "brain drain" — has been openly apparent since the 1980s, with the easiest place to go "across the ditch".
According to the taskforce set up by the government last year to tackle this problem, incomes in New Zealand haven't been equal to those in Australia since 1974. By 2008, the productivity gap had also increased to the point where Australia's per capita GDP was 35 percent more than that of New Zealand.

Statistics New Zealand has found the median weekly income fell by 1.7 percent from the June 2009 to June 2010 quarter; 4.9 percent more people received income from government transfers; and food prices went up 12 percent from October 2007 to 2009.

But the 2025 Taskforce is coming to the rescue! Their mission: to report on progress and make recommendations on how best to close the income gap with Australia. But the recommendations thus far don't appear to be having much influence. The taskforce's second report projects the gap with Australia will grow to 42 percent by 2025. To combat this, it suggests lowering the tax rate and government spending, selling assets and encouraging foreign investment
Finance Minister Bill English was cautious, saying "History shows that reforms done at breakneck speed tend to be fairly counterproductive." Labour accused the taskforce of providing "ideological claptrap" and a path New Zealanders don't want to go down
Taskforce 2025 says too much time has been wasted on "clever new government initiatives" to increase growth and prosperity in New Zealand. Initiatives, they claim, that focus on supporting potentially high-growth areas of the economy, instead of addressing the disincentives for business investment.

If the options (hypothetically) for increasing New Zealand's outlook were ideological claptrap versus trucking on as we are, I might start reconsidering that path I didn't previously want to go down.

Acknowledgements: MSN Travel
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Sunday, November 07, 2010

Joel MonaghanImage via Wikipedia
Joel Monaghan and the mystery dog - the human and canine sex photo scandal of the century...

Canberra Raiders and Kangaroos rugby league star Joel Monaghan found in a compromising position...with a dog.

Joel Monaghan  described it as a 'simulated prank'. Who in their right mind would want to be involved in such a prank?

"Joel can't blame anybody else for an act of stupidity that will haunt him him for the rest of his life" team manager Jim Banaghan said in a recent statement to the media.

Joel Monaghan certainly can't blame  the dog for the compromising position he was found in, can he? His pants were down to his ankles. There are no words of explanation that can be offered  because none can be appropriate. He now has to face his family as well as his fans and supporters with that shame...

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